Israel Study Tour with River City Christian

November 7-19, 2022

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Day 08 - Jerusalem: Temple Mount, Western Wall, Rabbinic Tunnels, Herodium, Bethlehem

We arrived in Jerusalem last night and woke this morning ready to explore the Temple Mount. We were amazed by the sheer size of the platform that Herod built on the mount after the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile. The temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, but the main platform remains. Currently, a Muslim mosque called the Dome of the Rock stands there. Only Muslims are allowed inside the Dome.

 

Next, we separated into groups of men and women to visit the respective sections of the Western Wall, where people of many beliefs (including Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) come to insert prayers into the cracks in the stone and say a prayer. Currently, the Temple Mount is under Palestinian control. In an effort to preserve peace and respect the place of worship, no displays of physical affection, Bibles, or preaching are allowed within the walls.

 

After exploring above ground, we walked through the Rabbinic tunnels underneath. The layers of civilization were brought to life before our eyes, as we looked at the different styles and generations of stone architecture built on top of one other.

 

After the Temple Mount, we visited Herodion, which was Herod the Great’s main palace. From there we could see amazing views of the surrounding cities and countryside. It was easy to see why Herod built his main house there.

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